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GGR327 Lec 5 Geographies of Women's Fear.pdf

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University of Toronto St. George
Deborah Leslie

Lec 5 Geographies of Women's Fear October-07-13 11:10 AM Race and class affect fear and risk of violence - Bronwen Wallace "To get to you" (poem) - Fear is an emotion, reproduced in emobodied experiences, constructed, - Fear shows up in bodily language, - Fear sexual assault, theft, harrasment, - Everyone has fewar, but gender = one of the strongest determinants of fear - Gender mismatch (men is at much greater risk in danger, but women are more fearful) - Fear affects lifestyle and behavior ○ Patterns of avoidance (avoiding specific areas of the city, at spec times of day, avoid specific jobs and times of jobs) ○ Use space (restricted way) ○ Fear makes women dress a certain way (dress more conservatively, to avoid crime and harrassment) - Contribute to women's and men's diff sense of their physical vulnerability and capabilities - Gill Valentine ○ Fear is complicit with patriarchy - it narrows women's experiences of city and socio-economic opportunities - Fear = socially constructed ○ Many influences on fear - - legal discourses, media, family and friends Discourses of Danger in the City - Gendered conceptions of public space figure prominently in legal discourse - e.g. study by Kate Boyer on rape trials in early 20thc Vancouver ○ Found that the legal transcripts have specific labels for women ○ Women of the streets vs virtuous woman ○ Jack the Ripper killed women on streets - Streets constructed as zones of moral danger - In the sexual assault case ○ The interview by the judge showed that the girls were deserving of what they got because they went out late at night and being in those spaces "you're asking for it" - Suggest these spaces off limits to women at certain times and suggest causal relationship with "fallen women" who used such spaces - Home = idealized locus of womanly virtue and respectability - In the 20thc courts, fear that women would become, not objects of male desire but subjects of their own desire ○ Anxiety women have of having fun on their own - Women's presence in night time streets offered this possibility damaged their credibility - Irony -discourses of danger do not replace actual places of abuse - Statistics Canada 2007 ○ 82 % of cases = men whom women know ○ Only 18 % involve a stranger ○ Family member 31% ○ Casual acquiatance 28% ○ Friend 8% ○ Authority figure 6% ○ … - Location ○ 51% commercial or institutional establishement ○ 31% residence (home) ○ 12% on streets ○ Other 6% - Personal risk vs aggregate risk - Spatial mismatch between geography of fear and violence for women Contemporary Discourses of Danger: the case of Vancouver's Missing Women - Vancouver, 69 missing women, 26 murders, .. - Edmonton, murders and missing women - Winnipeg missing women - North BC - Highway of Tears (first nations women missiong) - Ciudad Juarez (border industrial towns in Mexico, lots of factories located) ○ Over 400 women missing ○ Gov and authorities have done very little on these deaths and murders of these innocent women - Melissa Wright "Disposable Women" - in this book she talks about all the women missing and authorities do not care - The reluctance to pursue case by city and police department in Vancouver - Social service agencies argued a "discourse of disposal" was at work - If these women were not poor or indigenous women would they be treated differently? If they were middle-upper class? - Picture / poster for missing women
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